Running Time: 45 minutes
Underwater, Out of Sight:
An Ecosystem Case Study, 15 min.
Scientists explore marine ecosystems that are changing as a result of ever-growing fishing pressures.
This case study and its compelling underwater footage document how the harvest of sea urchins off the
coast of Maine impacts other species in that marine community. Scientist-divers track predator-prey
balances and life cycle events such as spawning. By studying a complete ecosystem as well as species
life cycles, the methods, timing and location of harvest can be adjusted to promote sustainable practices.
A Tale of Two Fisheries, 15 min.
Fishermen tell the
story of the Maine cod fishery, which has never been worse than
the present, and the lobster fishery which has never been better.
Archival footage shows that lobster harvests have not always
been so abundant. Fifty years ago they also crashed. Since then
a conservation ethic has evolved within the industry. Now lobster
harvesters speak with pride of their booming industry. Using
aquaculture, cod fishermen have begun to work with scientists
to enhance stocks. If cod returns, how can harvesters work to
conserve the resource upon which they depend?
Managing for the Future: The Tragedy of the
Commons Revisited, 15 min.
Managers face a worldwide challenge of collapsing
fish stocks. Could this failure be partially due to top-down
governance? Straight from the decks of fishing boats, and from
a submarine searching for broodstock lobster, we witness experiments
in local co-management by both scientists and harvesters in
Maine. Can fishing communities find sustainable management policies
for these commonly-owned resources? The American-style town
meeting goes to sea as harvesters and managers wrestle with
the tough issues of regulation, marine protected areas, and
other strategies of self-restraint.